“Apple topped the list of intended brands for desktop purchases for the first time this year,” said John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. “In 2011 and 2012, Dell was the top desktop brand, but Apple has displaced it, making Apple now the most popular brand across even more key CE categories.”Apple quietly updated the iMac this past September with Intel's Haswell processors and faster PCI-Express based flash storage, which followed a major design revision to the desktop in 2012 that brought a thinner and lighter design. The company also currently sells its lower-priced Mac Mini and is getting ready to launch the high-end Mac Pro sometime in December, with a German retailer stating a possible availability date of Monday, December 16.
Archive of Mac Pro Rumors
German retailer Conrad Electronic has, however, now begun taking pre-orders [Google Translate] for the two stock configurations of the new Mac Pro, citing availability of Monday, December 16.
It is unclear what Conrad is basing its availability citation on, but it appears to be the first specific claim of a launch date from a retailer, something many potential customers have been waiting for. Availability of the new Mac Pro is likely being constrained by new Intel Ivy Bridge-EP processors that were officially launched in September but which have apparently been somewhat slow to ramp up production.
Holiday shopping considerations would be less of a factor for the new Mac Pro than for most of Apple's other products, given the professional focus of the machine, but the end-of-the-month holiday season could present some logistical issues for Apple given employee vacations and other factors.
Also unclear is what kind of volumes the new Mac Pro will ship in at launch. If supplies are tightly constrained as it appears they may be, shipping dates may quickly slip into early 2014 with only a small number of units making their way to retailers and customers before the end of the year.
Update: French site MacGeneration posted a Tweet earlier this week claiming that delivery to customers may come on December 18, which could be in line with December 16 shipping availability.
Update 2: Conrad has removed its Mac Pro pre-order pages.
Most notably, the one-of-a-kind red Mac Pro designed by the duo was sold for $977,000, with the desktop computer originally estimated to sell at a max of $60,000. Additionally, the pair of solid gold Apple EarPods from the designers sold for $461,000 and was previously estimated to grab a max bid of $25,000. The special edition Leica camera and the one-of-a-kind aluminum desk sold for $1,805,000 and $1,685,000, with both originally estimated to sell at max prices of $750,000 and $500,000 respectively.
The auction also included the sale of many other items curated and in some cases customized by Ive and Newson, such as a Steinway & Sons grand piano that sold for $1,925,000 and a customized magnum of Dom Perignon 1966 with a custom red label that sold for $93,750.
Both designers have gotten a great amount of press coverage over the past few weeks leading up to the auction, with the designers being interviewed by Vanity Fair to talk about the collaborative design process and the amount of work that went into the products, as well as an interview on the Charlie Rose Show discussing their overall obsession with perfection. The two had also previously appeared in a video discussing the auction and their role in it.
In total, all of products auctioned off at the special event raised nearly $13 million. Proceeds from the auction will go to Product (RED), a longtime Apple partner. Apple has raised more than $65 million for the charity since 2006.
John Poole of Primate Labs, the company behind Geekbench, has now put together a good overview of what users should expect for the new Mac Pro when it comes to processor options and performance. With Geekbench being a cross-platform tool, Poole has taken several results from Windows machines running the processors that will be offered in the Mac Pro to develop an estimate of performance of the various Mac Pro models.
As we noted in yesterday's report, the 6-core and 8-core versions showed nearly identical Geekbench scores for single-core tests, and Poole highlights how that will be expected to hold true for the as yet unseen quad-core model due to consistent Turbo Boost frequencies of 3.9 GHz. The 12-core version will, however, score approximately 15% lower on single-core tests due to its slower 3.5 GHz Turbo Boost.
These estimates suggest that single-core performance will be similar for the 4-, 6-, and 8-core models. Since all of the processors have the same Turbo Boost frequency, and since the processors run single-core tasks at the Turbo Boost frequency, this isn't surprising news. However, it is welcome news since users will not have to sacrifice single-core performance when choosing between the 4-core and the 6- or 8-core models.Where the 12-core version unsurprisingly shines is in multi-core situations, showing roughly 20% improvement over the previous high-end 12-core model and scores approaching 30,000. Other processor options also compare favorably to their corresponding models from the previous generation of Mac Pro.
CPU capability is of course only one part of the overall system performance, and the new Mac Pro will also offer significantly improved graphics performance in the form of standard dual AMD FirePro GPUs. In addition to the systems being able to drive up to three 4K displays simultaneously, Apple clearly expects developers of high-end software to embrace OpenCL to allow Mac Pro users to tap into that vast GPU power for general computational tasks.
Apple's new Mac Pro is launching in December, and the company has so far only released pricing on base configurations of the quad-core ($2999) and 6-core ($3999) models. Customized configurations boosting to the available 8-core or 12-core CPU and the high-end D700 GPU, as well as other options such as RAM and flash storage, will push prices much higher for customers interested in maximum performance.
A third Mac Pro entry has now shown up in the Geekbench results database, revealing the 6-core 3.5 GHz Xeon E5-1650 v2 chip that will also be an option in the new Mac Pro. As with the previously seen machines, this new Mac Pro is running a custom version of OS X Mavericks, build 13A4023. The machine's appearance leaves only the entry-level quad-core 3.7 GHz Xeon E5-1620 v2 yet unseen in early benchmarks.
While both the 6-core and 8-core machines were tested using Geekbench 3.1.2 in 32-bit mode, which allows for direct comparison of their benchmarks, the 12-core Mac Pro was tested using Geekbench 2.4.3, which used a different baseline and means that scores can not be directly compared. But between the 6-core and 8-core machines, the two unsurprisingly show similar single-core scores of around 3300 in Geekbench 3, while the newly surfaced 6-core machine sees a lower multi-core score of 18309 compared to the 24429 seen on the 8-core version.
The new 8-core Mac Pro had previously shown benchmark scores essentially on par with that of the highest-end 12-core Mac Pro models from 2010 and 2012, and while this new 6-core machine unsurprisingly falls short of that level, it does still easily top the fastest 8-core machine seen in the 2009 and 2010 models.
New Intel Xeon processors are certainly not the only horsepower improvements included in the new Mac Pro, as all machines will come standard with dual AMD FirePro graphics chips. And with the Mac Pro able to tap into those chips for general computation tasks via OpenCL, users will see significant improvements in real-world performance.
Apple's new Mac Pro launches in December, but the company has yet to announce a specific date in the month when it will become available.
It's the computer we were insane to build. The one that turns conventional thinking on its head, then kicks the living $#&% out of it. We challenged all our assumptions. Abandoned our preconceptions. And blew away limitation after limitation. This is the new Mac Pro. It's like no Mac we've created before. And we can't wait to see what you create with it.
Apple on occasion sends promotional materials to members of the press. Earlier this year, the company gave select journalists gift cards featuring 100 handpicked songs to celebrate the company's 10th iTunes anniversary and Apple also sent out a 5th anniversary App Store poster as well.
First announced in June, Apple's redesigned Mac Pro starts at $2,999 and comes in several different configurations. The entry-level version includes a 3.7 Ghz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, 12 GB of memory, and 256 GB of PCIe-based flash storage.
With configure-to-order options, the Mac Pro can be customized with an 8-core or 12-core Xeon E5 processor, FirePro D700 GPUs, up to 64 GB of memory, and up to 1 TB of flash storage. While Apple has yet to provide a solid release date for the Mac Pro, it is expected sometime in December.
The site claims the GPU on the Mac Pro is placed on an independent daughter card with a proprietary connection, which would make sense as it would make warranty-repairs of broken GPUs significantly easier. There is no indication if or when third-party graphics cards could be released for the new Mac Pro, but the new device is scheduled for release in December of this year.
From the Google Translation of Mac4Ever's post:
According to our information, it is possible to change the graphics card in this machine. In fact, the GPU is placed on a daughter card, it is possible to remove and thus replace. As you might expect, Apple uses a proprietary connector (as is the case for SSD array present on the rest of the range). But nothing prevents, on paper, a manufacturer decides to offer compatible models on the marketA similar system is used in the MacBook Air's SSD flash storage. In 2010, Other World Computing released aftermarket SSD upgrades for the MacBook Air, allowing larger SSD options than Apple's 256GB maximum -- for a significant price. The MacBook Air uses a proprietary SSD connector and board, but OWC was able to design replacement storage options for the computer.
Apple did specify that RAM in the new Mac Pro would be user replaceable, but said nothing about the graphics cards. It's likely that the graphics cards, if it's even possible to replace them, would not be an Apple-approved user replaceable part and could affect the product's warranty, much like the aftermarket SSD replacement in the MacBook Air.
The video showed a number of steps in the production process, taking an initial chunk of aluminum and sculpting it into the shape of the Mac Pro enclosure before subjecting it polishing, anodizing, and other steps. Brief segments also provided glimpses of the massive heat sink in production and chips being placed on boards to be installed in the machine.
Product designer Greg Koenig has offered an expert overview of what exactly is shown in the video, explaining for the layperson the tools and processes Apple is using. Koenig notes that the "big story" is Apple's use of hydraulic deep draw stamping for the Mac Pro's enclosure, a process that stretches the initial chunk of aluminum into the general shape of the enclosure.
Deep drawing is a process that very efficiently produces a "net shape" part. Apple could have just chucked a giant hunk of aluminum in a lathe and created the same part, but that amount of metal removal is extremely inefficient. Deep drawing efficiently creates a hunk of metal that is very close to the final shape of a Mac Pro in just a couple of operations. After that, the Mac Pro enclosure is lathe turned to clean up the surface and achieve desired tolerance, polished, placed back in a machining center to produce the I/O, power button and chamfer features and finally anodized.Koenig goes on to share a number of stills from the video with captions explaining what is going on in each step, including lathing, polishing, grinding, protective film application, I/O cutout milling, and anodizing.
Other stills capture production on some of the other parts of the new Mac Pro, including bead blasting of the main triangular heat sink, pick-and-place assembly of circuit boards, and parts delivery for final hand assembly of the machines themselves.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Flextronics is in the process of hiring 1,700 workers at its facilities in Austin, Texas to work on a "next generation desktop computer". That computer is presumed to be the Mac Pro, given that Apple had previously revealed the machine would be assembled in Texas, Apple and Flextronics had previously been reported to be working together on the project, and Flextronics' Austin facilities are only a mile from Apple's large and growing operations campus in the area.
The new Mac Pro is a complete and radical redesign of the tower/workstation design that Apple has used since the G5 tower was introduced in 2003. The tower includes a unique cylindrical design that wraps all of the machine's components around a unified thermal core which absorbs heat from throughout the machine and disperses it through a vertically-oriented fan that draws air in from the bottom of the machine and vents it out through the machine's top.
The Mac Pro features the latest Intel Ivy Bridge E Xeon processors with up to 12 cores, dual AMD FirePro GPUs, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, and PCIe-based flash storage with ECC memory, USB 3.0, and faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
"The new Mac Pro is our vision for the future of the pro desktop, everything about it has been reimagined and there has never been anything like it," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The new Mac Pro packs up to 12-core Xeon CPUs, dual FirePro GPUs, ultra-fast ECC memory, new PCIe flash storage, Thunderbolt 2 expandability and more into a radical new design that is one-eighth the size of the previous generation Mac Pro."In the United States, pricing for the Mac Pro begins at $2,999 for the entry-level model, with a number of additional build-to-order components available at an additional cost. The Mac Pro will begin shipping in December.
Apple gave an unusual sneak peek at the redesigned Mac Pro earlier this year at WWDC, after promising a year earlier that a redesign was forthcoming. The redesigned Mac Pro is the first update the product has seen in more than three years.
The company should also be providing final looks at the redesigned Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks before their public launches in the coming weeks. Our expectations for these updates are summarized in the Roundups section of our site.
Apple will be providing a live video stream on its website for Mac and iOS users and via Apple TV.
Live Video Stream of Apple's October 2013 iPad and Mac Media Event
In addition, we will be updating this article with summary coverage and issuing Twitter updates through our @MacRumorsLive account as the event unfolds. Separate news stories regarding the event announcements will go out through our @MacRumors account.
Apple's online stores around the world are currently down in advance of the event.
We are also starting a regular email newsletter recapping Apple, Mac and iOS news, and this week's media event offers a good reason for those interested to get signed up. The newsletter will provide a less frequently updated but more curated view of the Apple world. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Apple is now readying a revamped iPad Mini with a high-resolution "retina" display. It’s also working on a thinner, lighter version of its standard 9.7-inch iPad, using a thin film instead of the glass found in existing models, based on information from the company’s parts suppliers.While a fifth-generation iPad with thinner side bezels and an overall smaller size has been widely expected, the release of the Retina iPad mini has been less certain, given multiple reports in the last few weeks suggesting serious supply chain issues.
It was unclear whether the Retina iPad mini would be ready for Tuesday’s announcements, but in addition to The Wall Street Journal, two reliable sources, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and AllThingsD, have also indicated that the Retina iPad mini will make its debut on October 22.
Alongside a Retina screen, the iPad mini is expected to include an A7 processor, while the full-sized iPad will offer an A7X processor. Both iPads will include upgraded cameras, and could also offer Apple’s new M7 motion tracking chip. AllThingsD has also indicated that Haswell MacBook Pros will be unveiled during the event.
Finally, I’m told we’re likely to see a slate of new MacBook Pros upgraded with Intel’s latest Haswell processors. Apple brought Haswell to its MacBook Airs earlier this year, giving them a nice boost in battery life and graphics. It has been expected to do the same for its professional laptops ever since. Tuesday should see the announcement of that move.Aside from the iPads and the Haswell MacBook Pros, Apple is expected to announce a number of other hardware and software products, including Mavericks, revamped versions of iLife and iWork for both Mac and iOS, the redesigned Mac Pro, and possibly a new display to go with it. A minor update to the Apple TV may also be included, and it’s possible that the Mac mini could be updated as well.
- iPad: Expect a new iPad mini-inspired design that is thinner, narrower, and lighter. [Read More]
- iPad mini: Retina display expected, but there have been questions about production and whether Apple be able to ship the new device in significant quantities, if at all, before the holidays. [Read More]
- OS X Mavericks: Reportedly due for launch before the end of the month, we should see a final unveiling next week. Other software updates including new versions of Apple's iWork and iLife suites, including iWork for iCloud, are also expected. [Read More]
- Mac Pro: Announced by Apple as launching "this fall" following a sneak peek at WWDC in June, Apple's radically redesigned professional desktop should get a thorough introduction next Tuesday. Some have speculated that updated displays may arrive to complement the new Mac Pro, but there has been no specific evidence of a display refresh. [Read More]
- MacBook Pro: An update for Apple's Retina MacBook Pro line has been expected for several months, moving to Intel's new Haswell processors for improved battery life. While it seems that Apple would want to feature the MacBook Pro improvements at its event, the list of products to be covered is beginning to get rather long and so it is unclear if the updated notebooks will make an appearance at or alongside the event or at a separate time. [Read More]
- Mac mini: There have been no specific rumors about the Mac mini, but it too is due for an update to Haswell processors. [Read More]
- An Apple TV wildcard: There have been some rumblings over the past several months that Apple is planning some sort of TV-related announcement for late this year, but there has been no concrete evidence of any imminent introduction. While Apple has been said to be planning its own connected television set product, that product may not be ready and the effort could continue to progress incrementally with an updated set-top box.
Flextronics America, which has ramped up hiring and spent tens of millions of dollars to renovate its Northwest Austin factory over the past two years, will start manufacturing a "next generation desktop computer" at the upgraded plant, according to a presentation it filed Monday with Travis County commissioners.Flextronics had previously been named as Apple's contract manufacturer for the Mac Pro as part of an effort to bring some Mac production back to the United States, but we had received an unconfirmed tip that Flextronics would be using its facility in Fort Worth, Texas where it manufactures the Moto X smartphone.
The document, part of a push by the computer and electronics manufacturer to have its Central Texas facilities designated as a foreign trade zone, suggests the company already created 879 jobs for the project and could add another 815 positions if it hits peak targets.
It appears that the company will instead be using its Austin facilities that are less than a mile from Apple's existing operations campus where it employees roughly 4,000 workers. That campus is currently undergoing a major expansion that will see Apple spending over $300 million to add at least 3,600 new employees there over ten years.
Apple announced back in June that the new Mac Pro would be launching later this year, and the machine is expected to be featured at the company's media event reportedly scheduled for next Tuesday.
The website's projection for a new line of MacBook Pros is somewhat likely, with both the 13-inch and 15-inch models showing up in benchmarks over the past couple of months as a release has seemed inevitable. The new line of laptops is expected boast improved battery life due to Intel's power-efficient Haswell processors, along with the more powerful "Iris" integrated graphics found in the chipset. Other potential features for the upcoming laptops include faster PCI Express-based flash storage, as well as faster 802.11ac "Gigabit" Wi-Fi.
Meanwhile, an expected release of the fifth-generation iPad and the second-generation iPad mini seems less likely on the given days of Ocotber 30 or 31, due to the iPad 4 and iPad mini launching on Friday, November 2 last year. Traditionally, Apple's major iOS devices have launched on the Friday of the week after the initial announcement, and thus it would appear more likely that the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 would launch on Friday, November 1. The next-generation iPad is expected to feature a thinner design, while the upcoming iPad mini is set to feature a high-resolution Retina display.
The projected November 15 release of Apple's radically redesigned Mac Pro does seem probable, as the company announced the device back in June at WWDC for a Fall 2013 release, with the expected day of release coming two weeks before the "Black Friday" holiday shopping date across the United States. The new Mac Pro features a compact cylindrical design, along with Ivy Bridge E Xeon processors, dual AMD FirePro graphics chips, and fast PCI Express-based flash storage among other professional-grade internals.
Apple is expected to unveil both the fifth-generation iPad and the second-generation iPad mini during an October 22 event that will also showcase other Apple products such as OS X Mavericks, the Mac Pro, and potentially may also include the announcement of a refreshed MacBook Pro line.
It should be noted that MacGeneration has a mixed track record on its rumor claims, although the site claims that the source for this report had previously accurately shared word of the 16 GB iPod touch released earlier this year. But one recent high-profile miss for the site was a September claim [Google Translate] that Apple's iPad and Mac media event would take place today, October 15.
People familiar with Apple's plans tell AllThingsD that the company will hold its next invitation-only event on Tuesday October 22. The focal point of the gathering will the latest updates to the company’s iPad line, but new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks will likely get some stage time as well, I'm told.Apple's fifth-generation iPad will take on an iPad mini-style design, resulting in a thinner, lighter tablet with smaller side bezels. It's expected to feature a 64-bit A7 processor and an improved camera.
Apple's iPad mini is expected to include the same 64-bit A7 chip along with a Retina display and an 8-megapixel camera. According to recent rumors, the iPad mini could be in short supply and may not see widespread availability until 2014.
Update: The Loop's Jim Dalrymple has seconded the October 22 date with one of his famous "Yep" confirmations.
With the new iPhones and iOS 7 now launched, we're continuing to update those articles with information to help site visitors stay on top of the latest developments, but we're also launching a number of new roundups today to address Apple's upcoming iPad and Mac product launches expected over the next several months.
New roundups include:
- iPad 5
- iPad mini 2
- MacBook Pro
- Mac Pro
- Mac mini
As with the original set of iPhone and iOS roundups, the goal of each of the new roundups is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that. Roundups for recently updated products will also include details on the new models to help bring visitors up to speed on what they have to offer.
Our roundup index page continues to include a full list of our available roundups ordered by most recently updated. Roundups are also accessible directly through the "Roundups" tab in the navigation bar on all MacRumors pages. We will continue to update the existing roundups and add new ones for other products over time.
Today, a new Geekbench result that appears to be a second legitimate Mac Pro has appeared, this time running a lower-end 8-core Intel Xeon E5-1680 v2 chip at 3.0 GHz. As with the previous Mac Pro seen on Geekbench, this new machine is running a custom internal build of OS X Mavericks, in this case Build 13A3010.
Exact Geekbench scores are not comparable between the two Mac Pro models, as the original one was benchmarked using Geekbench 2 and the new one was benchmarked under Geekbench 3, which uses a new baseline measure. The latest machine can, however, be compared to other Mac models tested using Geekbench 3.
On the 32-bit Multi-Core Geekbench 3 scoring, this new 8-core Mac Pro registers a score of 24429, on par with scores achieved by the higehst-end 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models running dual 6-core processors for a total of 12 cores. The new Mac Pro also handily beats the Geekbench performance of earlier 8-core models.
While Geekbench can assess raw CPU and memory performance, Apple's new Mac Pro will also bring massive new graphics capabilities that can be leveraged for computational purposes. The new Mac Pro will come with dual AMD FirePro GPUs standard, giving users additional computational horsepower while being able to simultaneously drive up to three 4K displays.
Apple's new Mac Pro is scheduled for release this fall, but the company has yet to announced detailed specifications, pricing, or an exact release date.
According to reports from several people who have seen the teaser, it ends with the line "Fall 2013," offering the first concrete hint of when the redesigned Mac Pro might launch. At WWDC, Apple gave a "later this year" release date.
The new Mac Pro is a fraction of the size of the previous model and housed in a radically redesigned tower. It will come equipped with Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 cores, dual workstation AMD FirePro GPUs, and new PCIe flash storage.
According to Apple, it is 2.5 times faster than the current Mac Pro, though benchmarks of the 12-core Xeon E5–2697 v2 processor have demonstrated mixed results, with the latest offering evidence that the Mac Pro will certainly offer a significant improvement over its predecessor, especially during demanding multi-threaded tasks.
It remains unclear when Apple might debut the Mac Pro in the fall months. The company is expected to hold an event for the iPhone 5S on September 10, with an iPad event to follow, and the Mac Pro could potentially surface at either time. Apple has also not announced pricing for the product, which is currently being assembled in the United States.
Others had noted that prototype hardware, beta software, and a 32-bit Geekbench run were likely to have limited the performance seen in the benchmarks, with the final shipping version of the Mac Pro due for launch later this year perhaps seeing substantial improvements under a 64-bit version of Geekbench 2.
Tom's Hardware has now gotten its hands on this exact processor expected to make its way into the Mac Pro and put it through rigorous testing in a Windows setup, subjecting the system to numerous benchmarking tools including the 64-bit version Geekbench 2. While the results do not provide an exact answer to how well the chip will benchmark in a Mac Pro, it does offer some perspective on what kind of performance might be possible.
The leaked result was run using the free 32-bit build of Geekbench on a pre-release build of OS X Mavericks. Switching over to the paid 64-bit build of the benchmark adds SSE support, though that’s still a pre-Pentium 4 extension. Tab between the 32- and 64-bit runs on Xeon X5675-based systems and you’ll find that the SSE-capable build averages 14%-better performance.
Curious as to how the very same 12-core Xeon [E5-2697 V2] compared in Windows, I ran my own test on a 64-bit build of Geekbench and scored in excess of 30,000 points—more than 25% faster than the leaked number.
The full set of testing benchmarks pitted the high-end 12-core Ivy Bridge-EP Xeon processor against a variety of Sandy Bridge and other Ivy Bridge chips, as well as a Core i7-4770K Haswell chip, finding that the Xeon E5-2697 V2 generally topped the performance charts in multi-threaded tests but was beaten in many single-threaded tests by the faster chips with fewer cores.
As noted, the benchmark scores for the Xeon E5-2697 V2 generated from these tests won't necessarily translate exactly to a Mac Pro running OS X Mavericks, but they do provide some confidence that the redesigned Mac Pro will indeed be a significant improvement over its predecessor for the most demanding multi-threaded tasks.
But if a new Geekbench result is authentic, it appears that the new machine is already starting to show up in public benchmarking databases. Rather than showing up as a "MacPro6,1" as would be expected for Apple's next-generation Mac Pro, the new machine is dubbed "AAPLJ90,1", perhaps a reference to a J90 code name following Apple's usual format.
Also supporting the authenticity of the entry is the listing of a custom build of OS X Mavericks, 13A2054, running on the machine. The listed motherboard ID is also one which was discovered in OS X Mavericks as corresponding to the new Mac Pro.
The machine in question is running a single 12-core processor from the upcoming Ivy Bridge-E family, specifically the Xeon E5-2697 v2 running at 2.7 GHz. It is also equipped with 64 GB of RAM.
A comparison of this new Mac Pro entry with Apple's current high-end 12-core Mac Pro running a pair of 3.06 GHz Westmere processors reveals improved performance on Geekbench benchmarks by most measures, ranging from slight improvements for certain tasks to substantial improvements for others.
We chatted with John Poole of Primate Labs, who highlighted the substantial improvements in many single-core measures and in memory performance, suggesting that lower multi-core scores later in the Integer Performance testing run could be indicative of thermal issues.
Poole notes that with a public launch of the new Mac Pro likely still many months away, it is entirely possible that Apple is still ironing out both software and hardware issues on the new Mac Pro and that the company's work could lead to even more substantial performance gains once those issues are addressed.
Update: Poole has now shared some of his thoughts on the Mac Pro result in a blog post.
...Apple's claim of "up to 2x faster" floating point performance may be optimistic. The new "Ivy Bridge" Xeon processor in the new Mac Pro has instructions that can process twice the amount of data as the "Westmere" Xeon processors in the current Mac Pro. The problem is that only certain kinds of software can take advantage of these instructions.